June is National Safety Month, sponsored by the National Safety Council. This annual event seeks to bring attention to leading causes of injuries and fatalities at home, at work and on our roadways and what can be done to prevent them.
To recognize the month, it’s a good time to consider the question: How safe are you and your family? If you aren’t sure, read on for steps you can take to help keep yourself and your family safe.
Trip, slips and falls are major sources of injuries, especially for older adults, so check your home’s interior and exterior for tripping perils like clutter on floors, puddles on driveways and exposed tree roots. Also, check that stairs are well-lit and handrails are in good working order.
Some other steps to take to promote a safe living environment include:
- Checking smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure batteries are in good working order.
- Making sure fire extinguishers are operational and that you know how to use them.
- Keeping medicines, cleaning solvents and other potentially lethal products stored where children cannot reach them.
- Supervising children around swimming pools, bathtubs and other bodies of water.
- Putting a family safety plan in place that includes evacuation route instructions in case of fire or other disasters and includes emergency phone numbers for police, fire, poison control and local hospitals and healthcare providers.
On the Road
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, nearly one-third of roadway fatalities in the state in 2017 involved drunk driving. Steer well clear of vehicles near you on the roadway that display common signs that an impaired driver might be at the wheel, including swerving, running stop signs and lights, driving without headlights and slowing and speeding up for no reason. Don’t drink and drive, and talk to your kids about the dangers of impaired driving. Also, don’t text and drive, which is a major cause of car accidents. Always model safe driving behaviors to children and teens.
When driving, always insist that everyone in your car wears seatbelts and that infants and young children are restrained in car or booster seats in accordance with South Carolina law:
- Infants under two should be in rear-facing car seats in the back seat.
- Children at least two years old (or younger who have outgrown their rear-facing seat) should be restrained in a forward-facing car seat.
- Kids who are at least four years old (or who have outgrown their prior seat) should be in booster seats in the back seat until they fit into an adult seatbelt, which is generally at eight years of age or 57 inches tall.
In the Workplace
Stay safe at work by getting a good night’s sleep. Fatigued workers are more accident prone; and if you work around machinery or at heights, being tired can be especially dangerous. Falls in the workplace are preventable, but many people die or are injured by them every year. Just like you would at home, identify tripping hazards at work and fix them or make management aware of them. If you work from heights on ladders or scaffolding, ensure that equipment is properly set up before you use it. Also, be sure you are adequately trained if you are asked to perform what could be a dangerous job. If you aren’t, bring it to the attention of your supervisor.
By being aware of hazards around you and how to address them, you can help to keep yourself and your family safe during safety month and all year long.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
If you’ve suffered an injury due to negligence, our knowledgeable attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm in Columbia are here to help you. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Bert Louthian has been practicing law in Columbia with his father, Herb, since 1985. After receiving his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina, Bert launched his legal career in his father’s firm. With 80 years of legal experience between them, Louthian Law, P.A. remains Family-Owned and Family-Focused.
Bert understands that when life goes wrong – when you or someone you love gets hurt or suffers a loss, it can feel like nothing will ever be right or fair again. He gets up and goes to work every day to prove that feeling wrong – and does everything in his power to make things right again.